Dave Draganosky answers questions about life and work in Montgomery County for Montco.Today’s Community Profile.
- Your full name? Who are you named after? David J. Draganosky is my full name. My first name has no special significance in that my parents did not choose it because of any particular person. The “J” stands for John who is my maternal uncle and godfather.
- Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in and spent my earliest years in Philadelphia, specifically the Germantown section of the city. My family then moved to Fort Benning, Georgia for several years where my father was stationed as an officer in the Army. We returned to Pennsylvania in the early 1970’s after which I grew up in Bucks County (Feasterville, then Yardley).
- What are some of your fondest memories of where you grew up?
I grew up in a suburban neighborhood where I knew and played with nearly every kid on my block and the surrounding blocks. My fondest memories are of spending entire days outside during the summers with my friends exploring the neighborhood, riding our bikes/skateboards, swimming, playing sports, etc.
- If you live and/or work in Montgomery County, what do you like most about it?
I both live and work in Montgomery County. I moved to Montgomery County in the summer of 1990, just after graduating from law school and taking the bar exam, and just before getting married and starting my first job as an attorney (that was a busy summer!). I am fortunate in that I live less than 10 minutes from my office. Montgomery County is a great community filled with some of the best schools (both public and private) in the state, ample open space and parks, and numerous unique towns filled with interesting shops and restaurants (i.e., Ambler, Skippack and Phoenixville to name a few). Not to mention, all that Philadelphia offers is easily accessible via automobile and public transportation.
- What did your parents do?
My father is a recently-retired physician. My mother was a stay-at-home mom who did not have the luxury of attending college before she married and started a family. When I was in high school, she started taking college courses and ultimately graduated with highest honors from Trenton State College (now the State College of New Jersey).
- Where was your first job?
In high school I became interested in cars, specifically muscle cars like GTOs, Road Runners, Challengers, etc. Not surprisingly, my first job was working at a service station in my home town. At first I pumped gas and was a “gopher”. Eventually I started doing light mechanical work like tune ups, brake jobs, exhaust work, inspections, etc. In that job, I learned the value of loyalty and the importance of good customer service.
- Where did you go to college? Why there?
I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from LaSalle University where I majored in English. I followed in the footsteps of my father, two uncles and brother who all attended LaSalle. I also attended LaSalle College High School so it was a natural progression to LaSalle University.
- Where did you go to law school? Why there?
I went to Temple University School of Law (now called the Temple University Beasley School of Law). Temple was and is a well-rated law school with excellent academics and highly respected faculty. Additionally, Temple’s location was particularly attractive to me both personally and professionally. While attending law school, I wanted to be close to my then girlfriend (now wife) who attended LaSalle University and also my family and friends who primarily lived in Bucks County. Moreover, since I wanted to work in Philadelphia and/or the suburban Philadelphia area upon graduation, I knew that Temple was a good choice given its strong local contacts and alumni network.
- Why did you choose to go into your particular area of law?
I did not necessarily choose to go into family law as much as it chose me. I passed the bar exam in the late fall of 1990 just before the primary family law attorney in my then office left the firm. As a result, I inherited a number of family law cases. After getting my feet wet, I realized that I enjoyed family law because it provides an extremely diverse experience as the issues and parties involved are always changing.
- Are you involved in the community? If so, in what ways?
My wife and I raised three children in Montgomery County. Our children participated in various sports, but mainly competitive swimming. While our children still lived at home, my community involvement consisted primarily of volunteering at swim meets and supporting the schools and aquatic clubs for which they swam. Although swimming is still a part of our household (our youngest daughter attends and swims for the University of Delaware), I am now switching my focus to other things. Recently, I completed training and am in the process of fulfilling requirements to serve as a child advocate in Montgomery County. As a child advocate, I will represent the interests of children in court who are the victims of abuse.
- Is teaching and mentoring important to you?
Teaching and mentoring are definitely important. Currently, my firm is hosting two summer associates. One is a rising third year student at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the other is a rising second year student at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. It is rewarding to see and foster the enthusiasm of these very bright young individuals when I share my knowledge and experience with them.
- Who was your most important mentor?
Without a doubt, my parents were my most important mentors. They taught me the value of family, hard work, honesty and integrity, attention to detail, and trying my best in everything that I do.
- What is your favorite Montgomery County restaurant?
That is a tough question as there are so many great restaurants in Montgomery County and it seems that my favorite is always changing. My current “go to” restaurant is Olcé Pizza Grille in Cedars. Olcé is an “artisanal pizza joint” that crafts interesting and unusual pizza combinations.
- Where is your favorite weekend-getaway destination?
The New Jersey shore is my favorite weekend-getaway destination. Although I am only a casual beach goer, there is always something to do and somewhere to go.
- If you could change one thing about Montgomery County, what would it be?
If I had the power, I would reduce traffic around the malls (i.e., King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Montgomeryville) and on various heavily travelled arteries (i.e., Route 309, Route 422, the Blue Route). Of course, I do not have that power, so it is something I willingly accept for the privilege to live and work in Montgomery County.
- What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is also a famous quote that has been attributed to several different people including Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”